Wine is an agricultural product
Williams Corner is an importer and distributor of wine and other fermented & distilled beverages based in Charlottesville, Virginia. We specialize in wines made by dedicated and passionate craftspeople working in an environmentally conscious manner.
We acknowledge that grape growing has been one of the most chemically intensive agricultural sectors since the widespread adoption of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides in the second half of the 20th Century. We choose to work with growers and winemakers who recognize the unsustainability of intensive industrial monoculture and who, as a result, have decided to take a different approach to farming.
These approaches are as varied as the number of winemakers in the Williams Corner portfolio. What these artisans tend to have in common is a commitment to land preservation and renewal. This philosophy of agrarian stewardship usually informs the winemaking process as well. It tends not to be proscriptive or dogmatic, but rather sensible, intentional, and holistic.
The goal for many of these folks is to make exceptional wines of great character in a way that aligns with their views on the natural world. The results often provide insight into distinctive geographic locations, grape varieties, and/or specific processing techniques. They are also meant to provide pleasure, a feature of wine consumption we vigorously promote and defend here at Williams Corner.
Why “Williams Corner”?
Long before we started Williams Corner Wine, our friend Michael Williams ran a bookstore, the Williams Corner Bookstore, on Charlottesville’s Downtown Pedestrian Mall. Although changes in the new book market ultimately brought an end to the well-loved shop, Michael stills owns the building and maintains both an avid interest in wine and excellent storytelling abilities, two traits that make Michael an excellent dinner companion.
In 2007, Toby Beard, Andrew Greene and Ted Burns jumped at Michael’s offer to create a shared wine cellar ‘beneath’ the Downtown Mall and the former Williams Corner Bookstore space. Using his carpentry skills, and some reclaimed bookshelves, Michael created an array of bins and racks to store our eclectic collection of obscure varietals, regions and formats. Soon afterwards, Nicolas Mestre became the fourth partner in the Williams Corner Wine Cellar. From this subterranean lair, the idea was hatched to create a wine importing company dedicated to bringing authentic, natural wines to Virginia.
When it came to name our new venture, we chose Williams Corner Wine both to represent our shared experience and also help preserve the memory of a beloved Charlottesville shop.